Despite what the government says, NEM is not to increase wages of
workers. There is no minimum wage at all so the wage can be ZERO,
which is very common in Malaysia, disguised as Industrial Training.
This is enforced by the incessant statements in NEM that the most
important aspect is the training of workers, which is again working
with ZERO or subsidised(negatie) wages in Malaysia.
My daughter had undergone the Aircraft Maintainance Course, so called
pioneered by Najib when he was Defense Miniser but not a single hour
of the practical training,( at zero wage, under hazardous conditions,
without any worker protection rights at all, and yet supervised by MAS
Engineers, according to normal aviation safety standards,) recognised
Is there any hope for anybody to get training that is recognised by
world standards that are to be conducted by educational institutiions?
Only the employers can train their workers to the standard that it
wishes to adhere based on market conditions. If employers can get away
with cheap or zero wages, they will adjust their market to that level,
which means low quality products. There is no incentive at all for
employers to train their workers in order to produce high quality
products to compete in world markets.
If a government institution, Polytechnic Shah Alam, failed to produce
qualified aircraft technicians, despite instructions and lecturers
from MAS in a course that follow IASA standards, fail to produce a
single hour of certified training, what hope is there for other
courses that do not have such close contact with industry? This is
despite the costs incurred by the government. In fact, it is the most
expensive course in public educational institutions
probably due to the subsidised and yet useless(unrecognised) practical
training conducted at MAS.
My daughter and her other top students in Malaysia, had to work for
MAS with below poverty level wages(RM1200/ month), for 3.5 years more
in order to get a license. Even this is not sure because MAS cannot
afford to spend a lot of time training their workers.
Just ask any of the top corporations in the world. My example was
Telekom Malaysia when it was under Cable and Wireless. It had
educational institutions within the company to train techniicians for
2 years with a curriculum and equipment that will put diploma courses
in private and public universities to shame. Unfortunately this
educational institution is dismantled to the point that what is left
in current TM is only 2 weeks of training.
Just imagine. How can Boeing or Toyota companies roll out their
advanced models if they don't train their workers themselves? Is there
any educational institution that can train workers in the highly
secret models that Boeing and Toyota roll out every year?
Safety net is urgent but not in the way of the NEAC views which are
It is an alternative to minimum wage. If you can get paid RM1000 per
month doing nothing, do you still want to work for RM500/month?
This is the amount paid in Hong Kong if you are unemployed.
Minimum wage is only important if the safety net is not implemented
fully, such as in Malaysia.
Since it is impossible to provide a complete safety net, minimum
income is always desirable if you want high-income economy.
Alas, the Malaysian government is not interested in implementing a
high-income economy but likes to publicise it because of its political
The Malaysian government likes to go against history and real examples
such as Singapore and United Kingdom, in favour of their narrow minded
views of economy.
The only secret that Singapore applies is just to follow world
standards and norms, nothing so special about it. Just enforce
international standards in regulations and designs.
Malaysia has similar laws and standards, but never follow them.
Sometimes they may appear to follow standards but it only occurred
after a clear disaster has happened. That is why I call Malaysia as
never having followed any international standard. They only follow
when they deal with outsiders because they cannot hide, such as
Aviation Standards that have strict international audit and
Building a stronger safety net is urgent
Malaysia's social protection system, as
in many Asian countries, is still evolving.
While it is relatively well-developed, there
are major gaps and inefficiencies. Poverty is
less widespread but there remain selective,
vulnerable groups and pockets of intractable
poverty. Inequality remains a pressing issue.
Despite substantial subsidies available to
the population, the disadvantaged are still
not getting access. Safeguards are needed
to protect individuals from catastrophic
outcomes and to soften income shocks for
the most vulnerable. Some have suggested
that a formal minimum wage might be helpful
to cushion workers against such shocks or
downturns. The NEAC strongly believes
this would be a wrong approach and in fact
could exacerbate the situation by reducing
competitiveness and reducing employment